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British Industrial History

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Philip Hedger

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Philip Hedger (1820-1906), chief officer of the SS Great Britain

1907 Obituary [1]

PHILIP HEDGER, second son of the late Mr. Francis Hedger of the Hon. East India Company’s maritime service, was born at Garston Hall, Coulsdon, Surrey, on the 8th August, 1820, and received his education at the Bath Grammar School, and at Southampton and Sherborne.

It was decided that he should follow his father’s profession, and accordingly he was sent to sea as a midshipman in the East Indiaman "Robert Small." After serving in several other ships, he was appointed, on the recommendation of the late Mr. I. K. Brunel, chief officer of the "Great Britain," retaining this appointment until the ship stranded in Dundrum Bay in September, 1846.

He then left the sea and turned his attention to railway work until 1854, when he was appointed Superintendent and Dock Master at the Southampton Docks. He continued to hold this appointment, adding to his duties the office of Secretary in 1873, until the docks were transferred to the London and South Western Railway Company in July 1893.

He then left Southampton and removed to Surbiton, where he led a quiet retired life until his death on the 29th July, 1906, in his eighty-sixth year.

Mr. Hedger was elected a Fellow of the Imperial Institute on its foundation, and was also a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights. For many years he served the office of Director of the Incorporated Chamber of Commerce, Southampton; and he was a Freemason of over 50 years’ standing.

Mr. Hedger was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 6th February, 1855.

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